Longtime Quebec Liberal Pierre Arcand leaves politics

The former interim leader of the Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ), Pierre Arcand, is leaving political life.

The member of the national assembly (MNA) will officially announce Monday that he will not run in the next election.

A spokesperson for the Liberal party confirmed the news leaked by La Presse on Sunday.

The official announcement and the name of the party's next candidate in the Montreal riding of Mount Royal--Outremont will be announced Monday.

Arcand is retiring after a 15-year political career on the provincial scene. He was first elected under the Liberal banner in 2007 in the riding of Mount Royal--Outremont.

He is the 11th Liberal in a caucus of 27 MNAs to announce his departure. Former ministers Lise Thériault, Christine St-Pierre and Hélène David are among the departures announced.

Before entering politics in 2007, Arcand had a career in the radio industry. He was a journalist, station owner and president of Corus Québec.

In politics, he held several positions in the Charest and Couillard governments. He was President of the Treasury Board, Minister of the Environment, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister of International Relations. For a year-and-a-half, he held the Liberal fort, as interim leader, between the departure of Philippe Couillard and the appointment of Dominique Anglade.

The politician piloted the agreement between Quebec and France on mutual recognition of professional qualifications in 2009. He also adopted Bill 89, in 2011, which amended the Environment Quality Act to introduce a new system of financial penalties.

In December 2020, Arcand caused controversy after taking a trip to Barbados, despite the health crisis. He apologized.

Premier François Legault caused another recent controversy at the end of April when he said, "Isn't he dead?" referring to the Liberal MNA.

Arcand said he was "shaken" by this remark.

In an interview with "La Presse" on Sunday, Arcand said he wanted to have "more freedom" and to take more time with his family.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on May 8, 2022. 

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